The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

June 30, 2014

Groom chases thief from wedding reception

JOPLIN, Mo. — Jared Lightle never anticipated that when he renewed his marriage vows Saturday, he would have to chase some guy from the wedding hall, yelling: “Stop! Thief! Stop!”

Yet, that’s what Lightle did — in tuxedo and patent leather shoes, no less — when an uninvited guest swiped his and his bride Stephanie’s wedding gifts from a table in the lobby of the Scottish Rite Temple in downtown Joplin.

The 28-year-old groom received plenty of assistance apprehending the culprit — from his brother and father, who helped give chase, to onlookers at a traffic accident nearby, who pointed out which way the thief fled.

A police officer eventually caught the suspect a few blocks away, still in alleged possession of gift cards and cash taken from the wedding. Rosario Caruso, 31, of Lamar, was charged with trespassing, larceny and resisting arrest.

Caruso reportedly was spotted removing cards from a gift table in the lobby as the wedding reception was winding down about 8:15 p.m. in a downstairs room of the temple at 505 S. Byers Ave.

Lightle happened to be outside in the parking lot, placing his brother’s gift in the wedding couple’s car, when his mother emerged and called out to him that someone had made off with some of the other gifts. She pointed to a man across the street who was walking away with what Lightle could see were wedding cards in his hands.

“Hey, hold on a minute!” Lightle at first called to him.

The suspect looked back, but he kept walking and then broke into a run when the groom called out a second time. Finally, Lightle, hoping to enlist the help of anyone who might hear him, began yelling: “Stop! Thief! Stop!”

It so happened that police were wrapping up their handling of a traffic accident at Fourth Street and Sergeant Avenue as the suspect ran north down an alley and onlookers at the accident scene pointed out his flight path. Then an officer spotted the suspect crossing Fourth Street near Sergeant Avenue and gave chase, eventually catching up as the suspect fell while scrambling over a fence near Third Street and Connor Avenue.

“If we hadn’t caught the guy, it would have ended an otherwise perfect celebration on a very bitter note,” the groom said.

As it is, the couple are left with the awkward hassle of trying to match recovered gift cards and cash with the guests who brought them.

“But, since police caught him and it appears justice will be served,” Lightle said, “I guess we’re going to have a very unique wedding story to tell the rest of our lives.”

Renewal

THEIR WEDDING SATURDAY was a renewal of vows for Jared and Stephanie Lightle, of Galena, Kan., who were married one year ago to the day at a courthouse near Fort Hood, Texas, just before Jared, a combat engineer with the 1st Cavalry Division, was deployed to Afghanistan. Their Joplin ceremony, with 175 guests, represented the traditional wedding that the couple wanted to have once he returned.

1
Text Only
Top Stories
  • r072414msw.jpg VIDEO: Carterville company expands to third generation

    What began as Ray “Mac” McCoy’s side job in his home 55 years ago has grown not only in square footage and reach, but in generations. This summer, a third generation took over the reins of MSW — Mac’s Specialty Woodwork — that now exceeds 90,000 square feet and creates custom furniture for chain restaurants coast to coast.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • r072314techcenter4.jpg Southeast Kansas schools, businesses get behind new technical center

    When Galena Superintendent Brian Smith looks at the millions of dollars of construction projects going on in his district, not to mention similar projects underway in Joplin, Carthage and elsewhere, he sees the need to train masons.

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • Neosho athletes bring home silver

    For 19-year-old Dominque Dechant, it was the trip of a lifetime. She and three other athletes from Neosho traveled last month to Newark, New Jersey, as part of the Missouri Special Olympics girls basketball team.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hospital Shooting_Cast.jpg Doctor fired back at gunman in hospital attack

    A doctor grazed by gunfire from a patient who had entered his office in a suburban hospital’s psychiatric unit stopped him by returning fire with his own gun and injuring him, authorities said.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 3 To Get Ready

    Three things coming your way in Friday’s Joplin Globe.

    July 24, 2014

  • APTOPIX Vatican Pope.jpg Pope meets Sudanese woman sentenced to death

    Pope Francis met privately Thursday with a Sudanese woman who refused to recant her Christian faith in the face of a death sentence, blessing the woman as she cradled her infant daughter born just weeks ago in prison.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Box Turtle.jpg Getting reacquainted with garden dwellers

    Visitors to my garden this week find me covered in dust and dirt with bits of wood, leaves and who knows what else caught in my hair; stinky, sweaty gloves; grimy sweat pants and rivulets of dirty perspiration running down my face.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • mug_sarah-coyne-112613-c.jpg Sarah Coyne: Older kids still find joy in toys

    When she crawled under her covers, she buried her head in her pillow. Then she looked up at me and whispered, "But what if I can't stop thinking about that spider?"

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072414_annie1.JPG Child's play: Kids comprise the cast of 'Annie Jr.'

    The kids are getting a kick out of playing adults. While most of the main characters in "Annie Jr." are orphan children, some, such as Daddy Warbucks, Miss Hannigan and President Roosevelt, are squarely past adulthood.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dave Ramsey: Keep hands off the 529 money

    Should we use money from our son's 529 plan for college to pay off debt?

    July 24, 2014